History of the Red River Showdown


Texas Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson (5) runs the ball against Oklahoma on October 9th, 2021 at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, Texas. | Image by William Purnell, Icon Sportswire, Getty Images

The Red River Showdown traces its history back to 1900, before Oklahoma was recognized as an official state. In the first game, Texas won 28 to 2. Every year on the second Saturday in October, Okies and Texans gather in the historic Cotton Bowl to face defeat or experience triumph.

The Cotton Bowl, located in Fair Park, Dallas, has been the home to the Red River Showdown since 1932. The Cotton Bowl was originally named Fair Park Stadium and cost $328,000 to construct in 1930. Every year, people flock from far regions of Texas and Oklahoma to fill up each of its 92,000 seats during the Red River Shootout.

Football runs deep within the culture of both Oklahoma and Texas, with many young boys spending summers sweating in the hot sun with the hope of becoming college or professional football players. The only thing that distinguishes Okie and Texas football culture is the Red River that runs between the two states.

The Red River Showdown allows college athletes to cement a legacy in the college football arena, which is rare within college football. Performing well in the Cotton Bowl means better NFL prospects and life as a hero within their state. As a result, the Red River Rivalry is one of the most contentious college football rivalries.

As Mack Brown, the former Texas head coach, says, “It’s not like your home crowd or your away crowd where it’s loud for you and quiet for the opponent or whatever. In this game, somebody is screaming every play.”

OU has won the last three years in a row, much to the dismay of Texas college football fans. However, Texas remains in the lead 62 to 49. 

The winners of the Red River Showdown take home the coveted Golden Hat, which is a gold ten-gallon hat. Each year, the Golden Hat is returned to the Cotton Bowl and given to the champions of the Red River Showdown.

For the last three years, the Golden Hat has lived in a glass case in OU. 

Kick-off for the Red River Showdown is at 11 a.m. today.           

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